At the age of 38, Mark O'Brien, a man who uses an iron lung, decides he no longer wishes to be a virgin. With the help of his therapist and his priest, he contacts Cheryl Cohen-Greene, a professional sex surrogate and a typical soccer mom with a house, a mortgage and a husband. Inspired by a true story, The Sessions, follows the fascinating relationship which evolves between Cheryl and Mark as she takes him on his journey to manhood. Written by
Bill Hillman - Reporter:
Mark O'Brien has been going to UC Berkley since 1978. That's O'Brien in the motorized gurney heading for class last week. He had polio when he was six years old. The disease left his body crippled, but his mind remained sharp and alert. And since he wanted to be a writer, Mark O'Brien entered Cal to major in English and learn his trade. He wrote this poem for us about school here and about graduation.
Graduation. Today I hear the crowd's applause. Receive the congratulations from ...
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It's a beautiful and inspiring story. John Hawkes is brilliant in his portrayal of polio-afflicted quadriplegic man, who's quite intellectual and charming. With just his facial expressions and dialogues, Hawkes charms you throughout the movie. Helen Hunt is flawless, as always, and pretty comfortably gets into the shoes of a sex surrogate. William H. Macy and Moon Bloodgood are amazing as the supporting characters; they have some of the best dialogues in the movie.
Mark O'Brien's story is intriguing, inspiring and quite moving. His intention to lose his virginity through a sex surrogate leads him to experience love, both physically and emotionally. Mark O'Brien's story proves that physicality doesn't play such a big role when it comes to affecting and attracting people, in the long run; intellect and charm are greater factors. He affects and attracts the lives of three beautiful women.
The nudity and sex in the movie is not vulgar or erotic; it's more on the emotional and intimate side.
Some of the memorable dialogues from the movie include: 1> "I understand that even among non-believers, the most common expression of sexual ecstasy is 'oh God'". 2> Vera: "Today, they're working on simultaneous orgasm." --- Clerk: "What's that?"
As Betsy Sharkey from Los Angeles Times aptly says, "In a country that embraces cinematic violence with such ease but blushingly prefers to keep sex in the shadows or under the sheets, the grown-up approach of 'The Sessions' is rare."
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